ABU DHABI Ñ Saudi Arabia has pledged to protect its oil holdings in
wake of an Al Qaida strike in the largest oil port city along the Red Sea.
Saudi officials said authorities would redouble efforts to guard oil and
petrochemical facilities throughout the kingdom in wake of the killing of
five Western engineers. They said the Al Qaida attack did not harm
operations at the petrochemical plant in Yanbu, jointly owned by ExxonMobil
and Saudi Basic Industries Corp. About 5,000 guards have been deployed
around Saudi oil facilities.
[On Monday, about 90 employees of ABB-Lummus and their dependents
prepared to leave Saudi Arabia, Middle East Newsline reported. The casualties of the Al Qaida attack on May
1 were Western engineers from the U.S.-based company, which said it would
end its project at the petrochemical and refinery facility in Yanbu.]
"Saudi Aramco is keenly aware of its responsibility for ensuring the
safety and wellbeing of employees, their families and company facilities,"
the kingdom-owned Saudi Aramco said. "The company's security is, in effect,
on alert at all times. Facilities like refineries and terminals are guarded
by multiple levels of armed Saudi Aramco security personnel working in close
coordination with Saudi government forces."
Yanbu's port exports more than 400,000 barrels of oil per day. The city
also contains the Samref oil export refinery.